2003 Conradi’s Ariadne

BEMF Opera | 2003 Centerpiece Opera

Conradi’s Ariadne

June 10, 11, 13, and 14, 2003
Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, Boston, MA

June 20 and 21, 2003
Mahaiwe Theatre, Great Barrington, MA

The centerpiece of the 2003 Festival will be the American première of Johann Georg Conradi’s 1691 Di schöne und getreue Araidne, the earliest surviving opera from Hamburg’s acclaimed Theater-am-Gänsemarkt. Nearly 50 years after is début, critics were still hailing Ariadne as one of the finest operas of the time. Unfortunately, the manuscript disappeared shortly after that, not to be rediscovered until 1972 when the distinguished musicologist George Buelow unearthed it in the Library of Congress.

Conradi’s memorable arias, duets and trios, his masterfully expressive recitative, and virtuoso orchestral writing create a great, completely unknown operatic masterpiece. During a previous post at the court of Ansbach, Conradi directed several operas by Jean-Baptiste Lully, include Thésée, the triumphant 2001 BEMF centerpiece. Indeed, the story of Conradi’s Ariadne is virtually a continuation of the plot of Lully’s Thésée. The score of Ariadne betrays the French master’s influence from the very first bars, and continues to honor its brilliance throughout, while adding Venetian and German regional elements.

Conradi’s highly dramatic setting of Christian Postel’s wonderful German libretto reveals a stylishness and expressivity both fresh to our ears and instantly engaging. The labrynthine plot emerges from the colorful story of Theseus and the Minotaur. It features a love triangle, a daring escape, a mad scene, hilarious comic ribaldry, and opulent pageantry—the elements for which the BEMF operas have always been loved.



Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Drew Minter, Stage Director
Robin Linklater, Set & Costume Designer
John Ambrosone, Lighting Designer
Lucy Graham, Choreographer
Anna Watkins, Costume Supervisor
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer
Abbie H. Katz, Associate Producer


Karina Gauvin, Ariadne
Dorothee Mields, Phaedra
Ian Honeyman, Theseus
Jan Kobow, Pamphilius
Bernard Deletré, Minos
Ellen Hargis, Pasiphae & Venus
Matthew White, Evanthes & Bacchus
James Ruff, Pirithous
Tyrsa Gawrachynsky, Michela Macfarlane & Deborah Rentz-Moore, Three graces

Kathryn Aaron, Tyrsa Gawrachynsky, Michela Macfarlane & Deborah Rentz-Moore, soprano; Jessica Hanf, Kirsten Sollek & Kamala Soparkar, alto; Thomas A. Gregg, William Hudson & Mark Sprinkle, tenor; Jamie Kotmair, Alexander Prokhorov, Sumner Thompson & Douglas Williams, bass

Tina Cassidy, Caroline Copeland, Carlos Fittante, Susan MacNichol Guthro, Melinda Sullivan & Kaj Sylegård

Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
Ingrid Matthews, concertmistress
Robert Mealy, Miloš Valent, Christopher Verrette, Peter Spissky, Scott Metcalfe, Julie Andrijeski, David Douglass & Dagmar Valentová, violin; Margriet Tindemans, Patrick Jordan & Laura Jeppesen, viola; Emily Walhout, Alice Robbins, John Mark Rozendaal & Brent Wissick, violoncello; Jay Elfenbein, bass; Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, lute; Erin Headley, viola da gamba; Maxine Eilander, harp; Peter Sykes & Alexander Weimann, harpsichord; Washington McClain & Geoffrey Burgess, oboe; Marilyn Boenau, bassoon; John Thiessen & Alex Bonus, trumpet; Todd Manley, percussion